Monday, June 22, 2009

"Wild at Heart" Does Not Mean "Abandon My Family"

Several times in the last few months the topic of John Eldridge's book Wild at Heart has come up in the context of what it means to be a good husband and father. It seems that some men who read Wild at Heart take Eldridge's call for rediscovering masculinity as a license to run off and do what ever their little wild heart desires without consideration of the impact it has on the family. I have heard first hand accounts of husbands who have told their wives "if you respected me and understood men you would let me do [fill in wild adventure]". What the man often doesn't realize is that many wild adventures are tantamount to abandonment of the family, especially if they involve long absenses. And if the adventure involves a good deal of risk, (which Eldridge doesn't discourage), then that abandonment could be permanent. Even worse, going off on an adventure may leave the left behind family at risk. None of this is what Eldridge intends.

Although I have my quibbles with Wild at Heart and John Eldridge, which I have written about extensively in the "Hot Babe" series of posts, it is still a book I recommed for both men AND women because it does expose and celebrate the positive aspects of masculinity. But, it is decidedly NOT a book on how to be a good, godly husband and father - that is not its intent. For a wonderful book that is a great guide to being that godly husband and father without having to abandon the masculinity that Wild at Heart embraces, I recommend Point Man by Steve Farrar.